Tuesday 25 January 2011

Bill's Lamb Cutlets with Skordalia and Parsley salad

Well, summer has arrived finally. Goodness it has been hot here the past few days. It is so draining and I haven't felt like doing much of anything lately. I guess however the heat really did have to turn up at some point. It is just such a shock to the system when it turns up all at once and doesn't gradually heat up. 

It was time to get back to Bills. I have a couple of other recipes that I have made from Bills Sydney Food to post but I just had to post this one from last night first. I will admit that a day of 35 C temperatures was probably not the time to be making this. I was so hot by the time I had finished cooking and served it up that I thought I was going to melt. The flavours of this meal completely made up for all the heat in  the cooking and the eating though. 

I had started this on Sunday afternoon but decided that it would be better to give the lamb rack longer in the marinade so left it overnight and cooked it last night. I think this really was worth the extra time in the marinade, even though I did have to find something else to make on Sunday night. Thankfully though, this was a really quick recipe to make so was easy to make after work. The lamb needed longer to cook than Bill's recipe suggested. I cooked for longer but it was still way too pink for my liking. I find it difficult to determine when a rack is done to my liking. After the standing time, I sliced the rack into cutlets for the pictures, while doing this I reheated my fry pan and then cooked the cutlets for about 2 minutes on each side so they were perfect after that. I really enjoyed the flavours, the harissa went perfectly with the lamb. 

I was most impressed with the skordalia though. It truly was the highlight of the meal. The gloriously creamy lemony garlicy mashed potatoes. Done in a processor while pouring in a bunch of olive oil. It was sticky and very much the consistency of homemade mayonnaise however it tasted incredible. I have to admit that I am not sure it is a good thing to have discovered this incredible side dish or not. Being packed full of olive oil it is certainly not healthy but oh my goodness it is so, so good. Then again isn't everything naughty good. This will be saved for special occasions only. The raw garlic in it was fabulous but I would love to try it with some roasted garlic or even better some of the cold-smoked Australian garlic that I have in the cupboard. 

Lamb Cutlets 
1 tbsp tomato paste 
1 tbsp harissa paste 
3 tbsp olive oil 
2 garlic cloves, crushed with salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 x 4 cutlet racks of lamb (I had a 1 x 5 cutlet rack and it was plenty for 2 meals) 

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and then pour over lamb and rub in. Marinate in fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. 
Pre-heat oven to 220C. 
Heat an oven proof frying pan until very hot. 
Place lamb racks, fat-side-down, in the pan and cook for 2 minutes. 
Turn racks over and place in the oven for 10 minutes (very rare, I left for 13 minutes but think that 18 would have been more to my liking). 
Remove from oven and rest for a further 10 minutes. 
Slice racks into cutlets. 


3 potatoes, peeled and diced 
4 cloves garlic
pinch of salt 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
3/4 c. olive oil 
1/4 c. milk

Cook potatoes in boiling water until soft. Drain well. 
Place in food processor with garlic, lemon juice and salt and start processing. 
Drizzle oil in, in a slow stream, as for mayonnaise, until it is all incorporated. 
Add milk slowly until combined. 
Serve at room temperature. 

Parsley Salad 

2 white onions, finely sliced (I used red) 
1 tsp sea salt 
1/2 c. parsley, roughly chopped 
1/4 c. mint leaves, roughly chopped 
1 tsp sumac 
1 tbsp olive oil 

Place onion and salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Leave for 5 minutes and then rinse and dry. 
Mix onions with parsley, mint and sumac. Drizzle with oil just prior to serving. 
(This would have been better with a drizzle of vinegar or lemon juice in place of the oil or sub half the oil for lemon juice)

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